Backed by HRs, Darvish beats Reds 6-1 for 1st win with Cubs
By MARK SCHMETZER, Associated Press
CINCINNATI (AP) — More than seven weeks into the season, Yu Darvish finally has his first win for the Chicago Cubs.
Darvish recovered from a shaky start and Kyle Schwarber hit one of Chicago’s three home runs Sunday in a 6-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.
Schwarber, Javier Baez and Ben Zobrist dusted off their power strokes after each of them had gone a while without a home run. Schwarber launched a two-run drive and Baez and Zobrist each added a solo shot to help the Cubs take three of four in the series.
Darvish (1-3) went six innings and allowed only two hits, both in the first, during his eighth start since signing a $126 million, six-year contract with Chicago last offseason.
“He had really good stuff,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “After the first inning, he was commanding his fastball. He was dotting them up at 95-96 (mph), and when he can do that, it makes his slider one of the best pitches in baseball.”
In his second outing since coming off the disabled list Tuesday, the four-time All-Star overcame a 39-pitch first inning and finished six for the third time this season. He allowed one run with three walks and seven strikeouts.
“My fastball was really good,” Darvish said through a translator. “I was able to throw them in the strike zone, and (the Reds) were pretty aggressive.”
Tyler Mahle gave up all three Chicago long balls, passing Homer Bailey for the team lead in homers allowed with 13. The Cubs reached Mahle (3-6) for seven hits, two walks and four runs. He struck out six.
“If you don’t throw good